English – Our intent, aims and concepts
Our English curriculum is the vehicle by which we inspire children to be curious, creative and independent learners. Children are immersed in high quality literature and daily opportunities to engage confidently in peer to peer discussion. By valuing and cherishing high quality literature across our schools and across our curriculum, our children will shape, draft and craft their writing, resulting in beautiful work of which they are justifiably proud. Oracy is given priority within the classroom, as a means of developing metacognition, in order that children develop a reflective, critical approach to both reading and writing. We expect that all children are supported to develop ideas and opinions around literature and are able to articulate themselves with confidence.
We intend that the study of English will enable our children to:
• Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
• Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
• Acquire a wide vocabulary
• Develop an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
• Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
• Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
• Become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
(DfE, National Curriculum, 2014)
English at TSJ - this page is currently being updated with our writing progression documents!
We believe that reading is central to our pupils’ understanding of the school curriculum and is of vital importance in life. We have three main aims for reading at TSJ.
We work to ensure that:
1. all pupils learn to read by the time they leave our school
2. pupils learn from their reading because we put reading at the heart of all learning
3. our school environment and culture develop pupils’ love of reading.
From the moment they join us, we aim to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils need to be readers. We have a coherent, systematic, whole-school programme, underpinned by evidence of what works; we have drawn on research in reading and on guidance from the Department for Education (DfE). We want to ensure that, through their reading, our pupils become successful learners and knowledgeable participants, as well as confident individuals – three of the key outcomes of our ACE curriculum. They cannot gain new knowledge independently if they cannot read; cannot retrieve, from written text, knowledge they have learnt and recorded, if they cannot read. We also want pupils to gain a love for and appreciation of reading which will stay with them for life. Fluent readers can enjoy a range of genres and writers and have access to the full range of life’s experiences. This is especially important for our disadvantaged pupils: being unable to read disadvantages them further. No pupil should leave our school being unable to read.
Phonics and Early Reading
Daily phonics teaching in Reception and Year 1 underpins early reading; it continues into Year 2 for all children that need it.
The Government strongly supports the use of systematic synthetic phonics for teaching early reading and spelling. Synthetic phonics teaches children to convert a letter or small group of letters into sounds that they can then blend together (synthesise) into a word to read it.
We use the Read Write Inc (RWI) synthetic phonics programme to get children off to a flying start.
Read Write Inc Structure
When using RWI to read the children will:
Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups, using simple prompts
Learn to read words using sound-blending (‘Fred talk’)
Read lively stories, featuring words that contain the sounds they have learnt
Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' questions
We assess the children regularly. They are grouped across the school according to their phonics knowledge and learn with a RWI-trained teacher or teaching assistant. In this way we can ensure every child has the fundamental early reading skills.
Oral Literacy and Writing
Alongside reading, oral literacy and writing are central to our pupils' high-quality education in English which is embedded across the curriculum. From the outset, pupils are taught to speak and write fluently so that they are able to communicate their ideas, emotions and passions to others. We also want pupils to develop listening, reasoning, and justification skills so that they are able to hold deep and meaningful conversations that have depth and are culturally, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually aware. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; therefore, we aim for all pupils to leave our school fully equipped for their next steps.
Our writing curriculum focuses on two key areas:
Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
Our teaching ensures that pupils are taught and develop proficiency in both areas simultaneously. Our teaching is influenced by Jane Considine's 'The Write Stuff' framework which systematically teaches the components of writing in a progressive and coherent format enabling the pupils to flourish as authors. Writing depends on transcription; therefore, the teaching of spelling and handwriting is paramount to ensure pupils are fluent and legible writers. During composition teaching, pupils are given opportunities to form, articulate and communicate ideas through experiences both in and out of the classroom. Vocabulary teaching and learning is prioritised throughout the school with a specific focus on developing understanding and use of a rich and deep vocabulary. High quality texts and models are selected with care to ensure that pupils are exposed to, learn and begin to use new vocabulary (outside of their daily norm) developing their internal schema so that it can be recalled and applied in a range of contexts. Pupils are aware of the purpose of their writing and the intended audience thanks to high-quality models and reflections throughout the writing process. Pupils become authors who can plan, revise and evaluate their writing.
ENGLISH – Examples of Reading in the Learning Experiences at Totnes St. John's
ENGLISH – Examples of English Learning Journals